Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What Would You Do?

Looking for honest opinions here. As a family, we attend church every Sunday, and the kids go off to their little Sunday school classes, and do just fine. In the 3 and under classes, the teachers serve only water and Cheerios/goldfish/animal crackers. However, Little Bean recently moved up to the Pre K/Kindergarten class, and it seems that every week they get some kind of candy or treat for snack time. I am one of those ultra-paranoid, annoying moms who doesn't let my kids have sweets very often, so every week when he comes out of class and tells me what they had for snack (marshmallows, cupcakes, frosted cookies, jelly beans, etc), I about want to pull my hair out. This past Sunday they had both cupcakes and marshmallows in a 2 hour period of time! :(

I've asked about it in the past, because at first I wasn't sure if it was something special, like for another classmate's birthday party or what, and the Pastor's wife said that the snacks go along with the curriculum, and connect to the lesson somehow. That's all well and good, but I'm starting to go insane with all the treats they are packing into my 4 year old. At the same time, I don't want him to be the odd kid out who can't have sweets, nor do I want to be the mom who is always complaining about the snacks the kids get in class. It'd be one thing if it was only every so often (like once a month), but it's every Sunday that this happens.

So, what do I do? In the past, he has always been very sensitive to dairy, so I was able to side step this issue (because virtually all candies and snacks like that have milk in them), but he has since grown out of that sensitivity. I've thought about bringing his own snack, but not sure how he would feel about this, or how it will affect the flow of the class if he get "special" treatment.

What would you do???


The girl who painted trees said...

Yikes! I am the same way about Bear and what she gets to eat and I have NO idea what I would do in your situation. I would definitely be freaking out! Hehe.

Could you become the snack mom and supply a snack for the whole class? Perhaps the teachers could share the lessons with you and you could find a snack that is healthy but goes with the lesson. There'd be cost and time involved, but then at least you'd know Little Bean wasn't being pumped full of artificial colors and sugar.

Or, you could buy treats just for Little Bean that are slightly better. A blog called Montessori Free Fall links to (in her side bar at the bottom) and

He'd still be getting sugar, but not the artificial everything.

Sherry said...

I have been in this same situation. I was furious that they would give 15mo babies marshmallows! I told the teachers, "DO NOT give Gerrick junk food!" They were kind enough to start giving them all goldfish or cheerios instead--most of the time. I think they felt bad giving it to some and not all--as they should! As he moved up into the older classes I relaxed about it more.

I definitely would not send a separate snack--that would be disruptive to the class. Either decide that he can't have them or go with the flow. Personally I have come to feel that denying Gerrick some junk in class would only make it more desirable to him all the time--which really would be worse than him just having a little junk once a week.

Valerie said...

Since you're looking for honest opinion here (and remember, just my opinion)...

I certainly respect and admire your dedication to providing only nutritious (organic?) foods for your children, but I have to agree with Sherry...sometimes we do more harm than good if we are too adamant on issues that can allow for some flexibility.

If your children have always been eating nutritious/organically grown food, I doubt that your little one really even cares very much for the taste of the treats, and rather is enjoying the novelty of them.

If you feel really strongly about the snack issue, I think you should bring it up to the Church's pastoral council/committee, etc. I agree that every week seems excessive for sugary snacks, and that as adults we should be modeling healthy eating habits for the kids.

Perhaps do some research regarding various other Sunday school programs and find out what types of snacks they serve. Then, suggest a plan of action. Perhaps, a Sunday School sign-up sheet for HEALTHY snacks. Also, you're going to have determine what constitutes one family fruit chews might be an acceptable snack versus marshmallows where as in another household only dried/dehydrated fruit is acceptable versus fruit chews.

Lots to consider, but I think that this is possibly an area for you to take some leadership with in your church! Good luck with this!

Michelle said...

I would bring it up to whomever is in charge of the Sunday School. I don't think 4 year olds should be given sugary snacks even if they do somehow go along with the curriculum every week. I am sure there are healthier alternatives too! When I taught Sunday School in our church we didn't have any snacks and if we did it was usually something healthy except for a random party or birthday celebration.

Annette said...

I agree that each week they shouldn't get a SWEET snack. It's not VBS where it's acceptable as part of the curriculum. Sweets shouldn't be part of any curriculum IMO.

I also say not to send separate...or ask him to refrain.

Instead of addressing the teachers, I'd talk to the educ. director. It might be happening in lots of classes.

Being snack mom is a good alternative, as suggested, but it really needs to be addressed, I think.

I would go crazy too. Meghan got cheese curls once...I hated that!

Anonymous said...

I don't blame you! I would kindly mention your concern and along with possible alternatives. You could even offer to provide the snack once a month.

It is a tough situation. Good luck. Be a great advocate for your children! Who else will?

Michelle said...

We eat organic/all natural and kosher at that, so my kids turn down all snacks unless they know they can have them. They don't mind anymore and I often will give them something they can have after. :-) It is easier to have them say "no thank you" and then offer to bring snacks occasionally for the whole class. We deal with this all the time with sports games. My kids are really supportive of how we eat (and are often more strict than I am, lol) so talking to them and getting them on the same page as you helps. HTH a little. :-)

Miller Moments said...

Just my opinion...

We run into the same thing with our 4 year old in the program that he attends at church. I am very focused on healthy eating in our home and allow treats only for special reasons. However, I know that sweets are also fun for children and that the occasional treat is not going to harm him. One treat a week doesn't seem like a big deal. (again, just my opinion)

I actually participate as a teacher helper in one of our programs at church and we have a little girl that is allergic to a variety of things and so she brings a snack each week. Every week she is embarrassed and every week all of the other kids ask "why does she get that?". We try and explain to them that certain foods make her sick, but all it does is make her different in their eyes.

Could they maybe have a healthy snack option too? Give children a choice. It's amazing how often kids choose fruit, cheese and crackers over sugary sweets!

Jennifer said...

Wow, thanks for all the wonderful comments to this post. I have so much to consider concerning this issue, and I appreciate all your opinions! I'll keep you posted on what I decide to do about this issue.

Related Posts with Thumbnails